“We’re in a long distance relationship” – a phrase I’ve said countless times over the past 5 years.
When you say it, it’s interesting to note people’s reactions. The response tends to go one of 3 ways: a) “Oh wow, you guys must be so strong”, b) “Oh my god, I could never do that”, or c) “How do you even know he’s being faithful”. When someone comes at you with the last one, it can hurt. However, it’s usually the people who are the most judgemental and the least understanding who will give you that response.
As many of you know, Matt and I were long distance (on and off) for the first 3 years of our relationship. We’ve done the long-long distance, the short-long distance and the no-distance. From being 8,500 miles apart, to 50 miles to being together 24 hours a day, we’ve experienced a lot.
I won’t lie to you – long distance is hard work. There will be times when you want to throw your laptop at the wall because Skype keeps cutting out, or times when you cry because you just want a cuddle at night.
But there will also come that time when you can be together.
And when you reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and your days, months or years of being apart come to an end, it’s the most beautiful and liberating feeling in the world. That is the thing you need to hang on to, through the ups and the downs, because the distance won’t last forever. Whenever I used to doubt what we were doing, I used to ask myself, “If we’re in this for the long haul, what’s 3 years out of 70?”
So, whether you’re living at opposite ends of the country or opposite sides of the world, these rules apply to both. Being long distance might not fit for everyone, but if you love each other and you want to make it work, it’s all worth it.
I cannot stress how important this is. Regular communication allows you to be part of each other’s day when you’re living separate lives. That doesn’t mean calling each other every hour, but it just means keeping each other in the loop with what you’re doing and who you’re spending time with. Trust is a huge factor in a long distance relationship, so by being open about what you’re doing you eliminate any feelings of doubt or jealousy, which is the last thing you want when you’re so far apart.
2) Be honest
Don’t bottle things up – just say how you feel instead. I must admit, I used to find it really hard to say what was on my mind, but by doing so, I saved so much time & energy. If there’s an issue, resolve it and move on. When you’re long distance you can’t play the ‘something’s on my mind but I’m going to make you guess what it is’ game. It’s difficult enough being apart, so mind games should never be added to the equation.
3) Set ground rules
If you’ve only recently started dating but you’ve decided to give long distance a go, you need to have ‘the chat’. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it will help you to figure out if you’re both on the same page with what you want, before you take things further. Don’t feel like you’re being too forward by asking this either – being away from your partner isn’t easy, so you need to make the whole process as simple and open as possible.
4) Plan ahead
We can only keep going for so long without an end goal. Having something to look forward to, whether it’s a holiday, your next meet up or your long distance end-date, will makes things so much easier to handle. Milestones help you to stay positive about the distance, and it’s nice to count down and get excited together about your next romantic reunion.
5) Be in love
You’re bracing the distance because you love each other. Don’t forget that! Of course, being apart is difficult, but it tests your love in many different ways. You become stronger as a couple, more determined and closer on so many levels. Whenever I used to question what we were doing, i’d ask myself, “What’s the alternative?” And the alternative would be to break up, which neither of us wanted. Remember why you’re doing it, express your love for one another and make the best of the time you can spend together.
** 6) Forget the last 5 points. These aren’t the “secrets” to surviving a long distance relationship…
Wait, what? Isn’t that what this blog post is all about?
Well, hear me out. Nothing about what you’ve just read above is magical, nor secret. These are just simple relationship principles that apply whether you see your partner every day, every week, or every few months.
Ironically, I think being away from your partner simplifies things and it really changes your outlook on relationships. Distance forces you to cut out the bullsh*t and realize what’s important – your relationship.
I’m no relationship expert and i’m not claiming to be, but i’ve learned so much about relationships over the years and how to keep it healthy and happy, despite the distance.
I see too many couples who simply forget these principles & mind games and drama take over. When you rarely see your partner, you view things from a whole new perspective. The only thing that matters is cherishing your time, respecting each other and being in love. And that, my lovely blog readers, is the true secret to surviving your long distance relationship.
Can you relate to this? What are your secrets? I’d love to hear your thoughts!